Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Day 135: Worksheetcake

Today was better than yesterday.

The Math 8 students worked on an activity where they found the new coordinates of a dilated shape.  Or they didn't.  I walked around the room, answering questions and making myself available to the students who asked for help.  Rather than answers, I gave them strategies and support.  Some of them worked very well.  Others did not.

There were a few students who typically fall behind because they need more attention and direction and the chaos in my room makes it very difficult.  Today, I let the chaos roll over me and helped those who needed my help.

In a meeting with another teacher, we were discussing the phenomenon where a student will spend the first part of class yelling, walking around and being generally disruptive, then demand help with the task that they tried to disrupt.

Her reply is something along the lines of "I have many students in here all vying for my attention. You chose that my attention on you be spent redirecting your behavior."

She states it much more nicely, but I think this is an interesting philosophy. I could spend 20 minutes redirecting the same students and the education of the rest are going to suffer.

So today, I formally addressed the counter-productive behavior and continued teaching.  The result was fascinating.  The same 4 students who are constant disruptions remained constant disruptions.  The rest, however, were highly engaged and actively involved.  When it came time to do the independent work, 80% of the students worked REALLY well on it.
*Note: Policy was discontinued due to high levels of distraction from students loudly saying "Good for me. I did it!

If only The Simpsons were real...

In Geometry, we got a bit more into right triangles and I started in on one of my favorite problem solving topics: Finding a pattern for Pythagorean Triples.

I do love me some number theory...

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